Joe Biden became president-elect Saturday after winning the pivotal state of Pennsylvania, as projected by mainstream American press.
The former vice president amassed 273 Electoral College votes after winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electors, according to NBC News, surpassing the 270 needed to win the White House and defeat President Donald Trump.
Biden’s victory capped one of the longest and most tumultuous campaigns in modern history, in which he maintained an aggressive focus on Trump’s widely criticized handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Biden regularly criticized Trump as unfit for office and positioned his campaign as a “battle for the soul of America.” He promised from the outset of his run to heal and unite the country if he won, and made central to his closing message a pledge to represent both those who voted for him as well as those who didn’t when he got to the White House.
In a statement issued shortly after projections indicated he had won the race, Biden said he was “honored” by the news and reiterated the calls for unity that had been hallmark of his campaign speeches in recent weeks.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Biden said.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal,” he said. “We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”
His running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, said in a tweet that “this election is about so much more” than Biden and herself. “It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started,” she said.
Biden will be sworn in as the 46th U.S. president on Jan. 20. Harris will become the first female, first Black and first South Asian American vice president.